Government can’t explain 143 of 144 mysterious flying objects, blames limited data
A still image from one of three videos released by the Pentagon on Monday, April 27, 2020 showing “unidentified aerial phenomena” captured by US Navy pilots during training flights in 2004 and 2015. “The phenomena Aerials seen in the videos remain marked as “unidentified”, ‘the Pentagon said in a statement.
US Department of Defense
The US government cannot explain 143 of the 144 cases of unidentified flying objects reported by military aircraft, according to a highly anticipated intelligence report released on Friday.
The report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was intended to shed light on the mystery of the dozens of flying objects, spotted between 2004 and 2021, but instead said it did not have adequate data to put all but one of them in a category.
“We have no clear indication that there is a non-terrestrial explanation for them – but we will go where the data takes us,” a senior US government official told NBC News ahead of the report’s release on Friday.
The official added: “We have no data indicating that any of these unidentified aerial phenomena are part of a foreign collection program and we have no data indicating a major technological advance by a potential adversary.”
Last month, officials, speaking about the upcoming report, told NBC News the government had not ruled out the possibility that the flying objects seen by US military planes were highly advanced planes developed by other nations. Those officials also said the objects did not appear to be evidence of secret US technology, but did not rule it out for good either.
The report, however, said these “unidentified aerial phenomena” represented flight safety issues and potential operational safety issues. Parts of the report remained classified.
“We are seeing a wide range of phenomena that are ultimately categorized as UAP. There is no single explanation for UAP, it’s more of a series of things,” the senior US official said on Friday.
The Defense Ministry created the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force last August to investigate and “gain insight” into the “nature and origins” of unidentified flying objects. Earlier that year, the Ministry of Defense declassified three videos taken by Navy pilots – one from 2004 and two from 2015 – which showed mysterious objects flying at high speed in the sky.
“The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified'”, Pentagon officials said in a statement at the time.
All three videos had been leaked years earlier, but Pentagon officials said they declassified the footage to “dispel any misconceptions among the public that the footage circulating was real or not, or that there was have more or not in the videos “.
No additional incidents or videos were released as part of the report on Friday.
According to the report, 18 incidents were reported in which the UAPs seen involved some kind of propulsion or other technology that was not obvious and could be advanced. Eleven of the reported incidents were near misses with military aircraft, according to the report.
All videos of the incidents that have been released so far remain unexplained, according to the report.
The report noted that the limited amount of anecdotal data – as opposed to scientific data – and inconsistencies in reporting due to the lack of a standardized system make evaluating UFOs a challenge.
“We frankly still have a bit of work to do to really assess and address the threat posed by the UAP,” the senior US official said on Friday. “Not all PSUs are the same.”
The Pentagon, according to the report, would rather rely on a scientific and data-driven approach to collect information on the UAP, rather than on the anecdotal sightings reported by military planes.
To that end, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Pentagon are working to create a new collection strategy to standardize reporting of UFO data, according to the report. The agencies said they would update Congress on their progress in the next 90 days, according to the report.